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When it comes to California’s penal code, things can get a little complicated, if not confusing and downright convoluted. To make things a little more tricky, under California’s gun laws, a sentence for a felony can actually be “enhanced” if a gun was used by either you or someone you were working with while committing a crime. Under this enhanced rule, a possible sentence you might end up facing will be made to be far longer than usual. But don’t worry. Just because this all seems like a lot to take in doesn’t mean it has to be that way. To that end, we’re going to look at the definitions, punishments, and possible legal defenses that you have on your side should you be charged with personal use of a firearm – sentencing enhancement. First, some definitions.
Definitions for Personal Use of a Firearm – Sentencing Enhancement
The thing about this law is that you yourself don’t have to have personally used the weapon in question. Even if someone you’re working with uses the weapon, this law still applies. Unless there’s some kind of statute that says otherwise, any “principal” character in the commission of a crime can end up being subject to sentencing enhancement. And let’s face it: This is the worst kind of enhancement you can go through. By principal, we mean someone who directly commits the crime, or who helps the crime get committed in the long run. Now some of the sentencing enhancements actually require that either you or one of the principals directly uses the gun. The thing is, using a firearm doesn’t just mean shooting it. It also includes things like showing off the gun in some kind of menacing way or hitting somebody with the gun. This even applies if you were just knowingly armed with a gun as well. Good, we’ve gotten the definitions down. Now that we’ve done that, let’s move over to punishments.
Punishments for Personal Use of a Firearm – Sentencing Enhancement
Each of the enhancements involved are going to subject you to a set number of years in California state prison or else jail, and that’s in addition to the time you’re already serving for another offense. This time you’ll be facing can range from one year to life, depending on whether the gun was used, your criminal history, the type of gun, whether you just had the gun on you, and what offense was actually committed.
Legal Defenses for Personal Use of a Firearm – Sentencing Enhancement
The good news is that there are quite a few legal defenses that you can use to your advantage when it comes to personal use of a firearm – sentencing . Among these is the fact that you didn’t actually commit the original felony, you didn’t personally use a gun when you committed the crime, the police were involved in some kind of misconduct, or the gun was found during the process of an illegal search.
No matter what kind of problems you’re facing, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
So the bad news is that sentencing enhancement is not a fun thing to deal with whatsoever. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to go it alone. If you get the right counsel for your case, you can easily dismiss or reduce the charges that have been leveled against you. But in order to do that, you’re going to need a lawyer you can trust. The kind of lawyer that you’ll find at our firm. So get in touch with us today, and we’ll help you out.